Earlier this month, the Urbana Youth Center (UYC) sought contributions of books, board games, puzzles and other media for the facility.
In response to the request, the UYC received more than 50 puzzles, 100 board games and 500 books, among other contributions from more than 150 community members.
About 275 students have indicated they will probably or definitely attend the Urbana Youth Center when it opens, according to a recent survey of Urbana students in grades six through 12.
“The survey we conducted last month shows us just how many students say a youth center is essential to their future success and the outpouring of support from the community to fill our shelves demonstrates how many of us believe the UYC is absolutely essential,” said Justin T. Weller, the Lead Project Manager for the UYC.
When it opens, the youth center plans to offer programming Tuesdays and Thursdays from immediately after school until about 7:30 p.m. Students at both Urbana High School and Urbana Junior High indicated strong interest in “basic life skills” education, the UYC’s Homework & Study Assistance program, and hangout spaces.
The Urbana Youth Center is currently planning to open in early 2021 and is located at the former public library – 160 W. Market St. in downtown Urbana. To start serving students, a number of challenges still need to be addressed.
“The material donations from the community the last few weeks have truly been heartwarming. Right now, monetary contributions are needed to make sure we can fund our full lineup of programming through the summer of 2021. There are several great ways to donate like writing a check. If people wish to make a contribution using a debit or credit card, Facebook is the perfect place,” Weller said.
Facebook does not charge any processing fees or take a cut of any donations to verified 501(c)(3) organizations.
For those interested in supporting the project, Weller suggested people go to Facebook.com/UYcenter to donate. Checks should be made payable to “Urbana Youth Center” and mailed to 160 W. Market St., Urbana, OH 43078. Alternatively, people may call or text the youth center at (937) 772-4022.
“We need your help to open the Urbana Youth Center in January. Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5, $500, or more. Every bit helps and regular monthly contributions help ensure the UYC will serve kids for years to come,” Weller said.
Weller encouraged people to visit UrbanaYouthCenter.org to learn more and explore ways to help.
The Urbana Youth Center is a project of the GrandWorks Foundation, a local not-for-profit organization championing several efforts to reach, restore and revive the community, according to the organization’s mission.